Berea was founded in 1836 so we have a number of century homes. After World War II, there was a baby boom and a housing boom, so we have many homes built in the 1950s and 1960s. Older homes can be high maintenance. It can take time and money to keep them in good shape.
The City of Berea has signed on with the Heritage Home Program of the Cleveland Restoration Society to help the owners of older houses fix them up, make improvements and keep them as valuable assets in our neighborhoods.
The Heritage Home Program is designed for houses that are 50 years old or older. It has two components. The program offers free technical advice. That includes providing feedback on the home and improvements that might need to be made, advice on kitchen and bath remodels, advice on repairs, assistance finding contractors and consultations on painting.
You can make an appointment for a site visit so that an expert can assess your home and make suggestions. If you decide on a contractor, HHP will offer to review bids and estimates.
The second component is low-cost home equity loans for home improvement projects. The Heritage Home Program works with local banks to secure fixed-rate loans as low as 2 percent for interior and exterior projects.
Not all projects are eligible for the low-cost loans. Vinyl siding and landscaping, for example, are not fundable.
I am sending a letter to homeowners detailing this opportunity, but if you have questions and want more information, the Heritage Home Program has scheduled an information session for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 20 in City Council chambers at City Hall, 11 Berea Commons. Representatives of HHP will give an overview of what is offered and answer your questions.
You also can visit the HHP web site at www.heritagehomeprogram.org or email email@example.com. Call the HHP office in Cleveland at (216) 426-3116.
We are excited to offer this unique program to Berea residents. Our goal is to maintain and improve our older housing stock, keeping our neighborhoods vibrant and comfortable.